Sunday, December 23, 2001
[ DIVISION II SPORTS ]
The Brigham Young-Hawaii basketball team's turn as Cinderella in their own ball finally came to an end last night.
Hurricane ends Seasiders
By Brandon Lee
In the finale of three days of tournament action, the host Seasiders (9-4) lost to Tulsa 88-67 yesterday in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational championship game at the Cannon Activities Center on BYUH's Laie campus.
Before kicking off their glass slippers against the Golden Hurricane (9-1), however, the Division II Seasiders defeated two Division I teams (Columbia and New Mexico State on Thursday and Friday) and became the first from its affiliation to reach the final game of an exempt tournament.
BYUH was the only Division II squad in the tournament, with the rest of the eight-team field completed by Division I teams.
"We are very proud in becoming the first Division II team to play in the final of one of these tournaments," BYUH coach Ken Wagner said. "But it takes its toll after playing three Division I teams in a row.
"We didn't play as well as we hoped, but a lot of that has to do with Tulsa. Tulsa is a very good team."
Indeed, the Golden Hurricane -- last year's NIT champions -- have now won seven in a row after sweeping through its three Yahoo! games. Tulsa was led by tournament Most Valuable Player Dante Swanson, who had a game-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Seasiders.
Joining Swanson on the all-tournament team were teammate Antonio Reed, along with Alexus Foyle, Scott Salisbury and Yuta Tabuse of BYUH, and Eric Channing of New Mexico State.
Foyle had a team-high 18 points against the Golden Hurricane, while Salisbury had a game-high 12 rebounds in addition to 10 points and seven assists.
"We gave our hearts and souls out there," Salisbury said. "We know we have nothing to hang our heads about. But unfortunately we made too many mistakes and Tulsa is a really great team that can capitalize on things like that."
The Golden Hurricane did take care of the ball better than the Seasiders, committing only 11 turnovers to BYUH's 20.
Tulsa enjoyed only a slight advantage in overall shooting from the floor (50 percent to 46 percent), but killed the Seasiders from 3-point range. The Golden Hurricane hit 10 of their 19 attempts (53 percent) from beyond the arc, while BYUH connected on just 5 of 17 (29 percent) from long distance.
"We shot (last night) like they had over the previous two nights," Tulsa coach John Phillips said. "(The Seasiders) were hitting everything in their two wins.
"I'd like to think that (the difference) has something to do with us, but I can tell you honestly that we were very concerned about this ballgame. They were as good a team as we had seen this year over the (previous) two nights."
Greg Harrington, Charlie Davis and Jason Parker each added 12 points for Tulsa.
BYUH was competitive with the Golden Hurricane for much of the first half, never trailing by more than five points until the final two minutes before intermission. But Tulsa went on an 8-2 run, punctuated by Davis' dunk with less than a second remaining for a 42-33 halftime score.
And it seemed like the 15-minute rest didn't break the Golden Hurricane's momentum, as they continued to build their advantage in the second half.
Tulsa enjoyed its biggest lead of the game at 70-46 with 9:38 left to play, and the Seasiders never pulled closer than 15 the rest of the way.
New Mexico State 79, Montana 67: The third-place game featured a long-distance shooting duel between the Aggies' Eric Channing and the Grizzlies' David Bell. Both hit six 3-pointers, but Channing and New Mexico State came away with the victory.
A big reason for the Aggies' (6-5) win was that both Channing and his teammates were more accurate than Bell and the Grizzlies (5-7). Channing missed only two of his attempts from beyond the arc, while Bell missed five.
Valparaiso 87, Buffalo 80: Stalin Ortiz did some heavy "lifting" yesterday, coming off the bench to score a team-high 25 points and lead the Crusaders to a win over the Bulls in the consolation final.
Valpo (9-3) won two games overall at the tournament and finished in fifth place, while Buffalo (6-4) managed a single victory for sixth.
Columbia 74, Navy 72, OT: Neither team wanted to go home losing all three of its tournament games, and both battled like it in the seventh-place game, extending the contest into an extra period.
The Lions (7-4) were led to victory by last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, Craig Austin, who scored 25 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
The Midshipmen (2-8) also had four players with double-digit points, led by Jehiel Lewis' 16 points.